Dublin demonstration against Gaza attacks draws 600

 

A MAN attempted to set himself alight at a protest in Dublin on Saturday against the war in Gaza.

The man, who appeared visibly distraught, set his arms and shoulders alight before onlookers managed to extinguish the flames. He was not seriously injured.

The incident happened at around 1.45pm on Saturday at the Central Bank where about 600 people gathered to protest against Israeli attacks in Gaza.

The protest continued to the Dáil, where some demonstrators burned an Israeli flag. Dozens more knelt on Kildare Street to pray. Some children attending the protest with their parents were dressed in military fatigues and green Hamas headbands.

Kevin Squires of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign branded Israeli actions war crimes.

“This latest series of war crimes in Gaza is completely beyond the pale,” Mr Squires said. “Action needs to be taken. Israel can no longer get away with this.”

The Young Greens expressed their disappointment the protest had been disrupted by “a small group of fanatics”.

Speaking after attending the protest, party chairman Barra Roantree said the fact some people had used the opportunity to burn the Israeli flag and dress children in military fatigues was “not only unhelpful, but utterly contradictory to the aims of the world peace movement”: “Those who burn flags and glorify violence only fan the flames of the tragic conflict in the Middle East.”

Other demonstrations took place in Galway, Cork, Limerick, Derry and Sligo.

Speakers at the Sligo demonstration called on the Government to expel the Israeli ambassador to Ireland and for the public to boycott Israeli goods.

Supporters were asked to make the northwest an “Israeli-goods-free zone”.

Among those who addressed the crowd of 100 was Sligo mayor Veronica Cawley, who lit a candle in support of the Palestinian people.